One day while hunting along the Snake River, my buddy and I played “hop-scotch-boats” with another group of hunters. It never failed that when they would float past us - a covey of quail would flush. The boaters would offer shooting suggestions to us after we shot (often unsuccessfully) at the birds. Comments like “Oh! Just missed!” and “A little behind that one!” could be heard. They thought this was hilarious, though at the time I was not as amused.
Smashed Ponzu Quail with Soba Noodle Salad Recipe:
Like many people of my generation Mountain Dew was a food group growing up. The drink has two major flavors in it – citrus and sugar. A classic Asian-style ponzu sauce has three flavors – citrus, sugar and soy. Use the Mountain Dew as a base and you are 2/3 the way to a ponzu sauce.
Mountain Dew Ponzu
1 can Mountain Dew
½ cup soy sauce
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 green onions, sliced
1 thumb sized chunk of ginger, peeled and sliced thick
Add all of the ingredients to a small sauce pan, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Chill to room temperature. Remember to save a small amount of ponzu, that will not have raw meat in it, for pouring over the final cooked dish.
Put the quail and ponzu sauce in a Ziploc bag, and marinate in the fridge overnight.
Place marinated quail on a heated grill, and pour small amounts of the marinade over the meat. The ponzu is high in sugar so be careful not to burn the bird. Repeat until a firm crust of sauce forms on the bird.